SPEEDSF CHALLENGE - MAY 31, 2019 - ROUND 5 @ THUNDERHILL RACEWAY 5-MILE!
A special SpeedSF Challenge for 15 entrants was held on 5 miles of hot asphalt at Thunderhill Raceway. This was sure to be a great day despite the heat, as 90° F was the highest temperature for the day, which meant the asphalt was baking! New and familiar faces alike joined and enjoyed the event regardless of the crazy heat, showing that Fridays were meant for Challenges just as much as Sundays do.
The best part of the day? Multiple records were broken in all but 1 class, setting the stage for a fantastic showing for the 2nd Thunderhill Raceway 5-mile Challenge of the season which will be hosted on August 30. The benchmarks have been set, and with that said, let’s go to the results!
Two drivers, two Chevy-branded vehicles. Jeff Cook’s Camaro ZL1 took the S1 first place medal home with his blistering 03:01.828 lap time (which also set the class record for the 5-mile with Bypass!) while Gordon Peng took 2nd place with his trusty 2002 Corvette Z06, putting in a lap time of 03:08.950.
The heat may have been intense, but these drivers didn’t care! Hats off to Jeff and Gordon (hah “Jeff Gordon”) for displaying a good show with their V8 monsters!
With 4 entrants for this class, obviously only 1 driver wouldn’t make it onto the podium. The Dirty Mango, which is was as bright as the sun on this particular day, made it onto the 1st place podium… barely. While a hard-earned 03:08.298 S2 class record-setting lap time in the S2000 was in the books, those important 0.240 seconds separated him from 2nd place winner Steve Chi who took his 2010 BMW M3 around the hot course with a 03:10.043 lap time.
3rd plan winner was Geoff Richards in his Porsche 997 C2S, who put in a 03:16.981 lap time - certainly nothing to scoff at! Great driving by all in this class. Steve Melson and his 2015 Audi R8 did their best to match the Porsche but managed to get a 03:17.044 for their efforts.
Hot damn, this was a good podium! The Dirty Coconut S2000 of Gary Wong blew away the field with a 03:10.515 lap time, roughly 9 seconds ahead of both 2nd and 3rd place. 3rd place winner Bob Blackwood rung out his Lotus Elise for a 3:19.311 lap time, but ultimately fell .016 seconds short of 2nd Place , as Marcelo Maia’s great drive displayed behind the wheel of this 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS, earned him a 03:19.327 lap time. Round of applause for the drivers in this group - it doesn’t seem like the pressure will be letting up any time soon!
An S2000, a BRZ, and an ND Miata go on track… any guesses as to who finished in what place?
Well, it was close, but on paper, the finishing order was expected! Chris Smith took home 1st place with his clean 03:30.705 lap time thanks to all that VTAK, while David Peterson took 2nd place with his 2016 Miata doing a 3:32.290 lap time. E-famous track dad did his first 5-mile event at his home track and did exceptionally well with a 3:33.958 lap time, which is great for an almost-stock BRZ! I heard he’s putting in a couple of mods for the next Challenge! Very good driving from all three podium finishers in this group!
It’s easy to win if you’re the only one in this class for the day, isn’t that right, Kamui Kobayashi? Regardless, the red rocket of a C6 Z06 Corvette was pushed to the limit, earning a 03:00.882 and fastest time of the day.
With class-setting lap times thrown down for Groups S1-S4 + Group X, it’ll be interesting to see what August 30th’s 5-mile Challenge will result in. S5 is certainly ripe for the pickings, as the 2014 class record set by Eric Lin on July 2014 stands at a 03:55.190. Someone PLEASE break that record!
Another fine job from the drivers who won their places and THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the SpeedSF Challenge!
As we look forward to Round 6 of the SpeedSF Challenge at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on June 16th, we want to say that we truly appreciate our sponsors and participants as it would not be possible without them!
We thank our sponsors Wine Country Motorsports, G-Loc brakes, Titan7 Wheels, Necksgen, and Charles Schwab for their continued and valued support. Please visit their respective websites to show your support and let them know SpeedSF sent you!
Our next SpeedSF Challenge will be held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, CA. Again, please check out the event website by clicking here. We will see you at our next event!